Disclaimer: I had already written this blog post before seeing articles on cultural appropriation burning white sage. I am a little embarrassed for being uneducated when it came to burning white sage and in order to respect cultures who use white sage for spiritual rituals and ceremonies before you buy please ensure that you check/ask that the sage has been ethically and sustainably sourced or better yet find other alternatives which I will list below.
The faint smell of burnt sage lingers in the air. In the background, a low hum comes from the essential oils defuser of mixed oils chosen on the mood I am feeling travels in the air. There is something about being in a good-smelling home.
The energy around me is light…clean, calm and a certain quietness falls in between. There is something about being in a home that is your own secret world. A place where we can feel safe, shutting out the noisy world outside. Especially for those who are highly sensitive or clairsentient, and introverted like me, home is where the heart and soul are.
We are now spending even more time in our homes all thanks to you know what that was let loose into the world and we have been forced to stay put at home. Even for us introverted homebodies it can sometimes feel suffocating being trapped and stuck at home.
I’m a solitary creature by nature, and so wherever I make my home is it’s always been my main priory to ensure it’s a sanctuary for me. I need to feel safe and I need for having a place to escape in order to recharge, reflect and create.
Your space not only looks nice in your own form of style, but it should also feel nice.
I’m not going to get into the history of burning sage for smudging or cleansing, there is already a plethora of articles out there on the internet, but I have listed some further reading at the end of the post. I will point out I did learn the difference between smudging and cleansing only quite recently and I have been using the term smudging incorrectly. To quickly summarise, ‘smudging’ is used for spiritual rituals and ceremonies and ‘cleansing’ is for clearing away energy within your space and you can usually tell when there is stagnant energy around, the place can feel a little stuffy.
I hadn’t known what smudge sticks were until my late 20s, more specifically, when I entered a phase of learning more about occult things or rather what mainstream people like to call it as “woo-woo” stuff and on the path of seeking the truth and searching the endless depth of my soul. I read about the benefits of burning sage and burning it became part of my spiritual ritual.
May I add also, I have been doing this way before it became trendy, which is why there is a rise of articles about cultural appropriation when burning white sage can be found via a goggle search and it never occurred to me back then to do educate myself properly about the use of burning sage in native cultures. The last thing I want is to contribute to oppression.
Thankfully nowadays we do have a huge variety of smudge sticks out in the market of different plants and herbs that can be burned, below is a list of alternatives and I will have a post coming on how to make your own smudge sticks.
10 Smudge Stick Alternatives
✧ Mugwort – used for healing, divination and to stimulate dreams and visions. Burn during rituals to help clear negative energies.
✧ Rosemary – cleanses your aura and your home.
✧ Lavender – has so many properties other than being known for its calming effect, lavender has used for cleansing, creates the energy of healing and happiness as well as psychic protection and increasing clairvoyance.
✧ Cedar – I’ve been diffusing cedarwood essential oil for some time now and has become a favorite of mine, it’s woody earthy scent is enough to make you feel connected to nature. It is said burning cedar attracts good spirits and gets rid of negative ones.
✧ Rose – who doesn’t love roses?! Roses open up your heart Chakra, helps you attract love, and increases your own magic.
✧ Eucalyptus – is health-boosting, for protection and cleansing.
✧ Thyme – helps remove mental blocks, obstacles, negative feelings, and a memory booster.
✧ Bay leaves – not only used for manifesting (post coming) it can be burned for protection, healing, success, and calmness.
✧ Pine – the smell of pine alone is enough to evoke all kinds of memories, pine can be used for cleansing and protection.
✧ Juniper – also one of my favorite essential oils, juniper is known for purification and can invigorate the mind and body.
How To Cleanse Your Space:
You will need:
✧ Either a heatproof bowl, abalone shell, or a small iron cast cauldron
Open windows and doors, but if it’s winter a small crack of a window is sufficient.
Once you’ve lit your smudge stick, I use the candle flame to get an even burn, once a small flame has started lift it from the candle and allow it to go out. If it doesn’t you can gently blow out the flames.
Here set your intention for your ritual and repeat it while going around your house, some say prayers aloud or just quietly to yourself in your mind. I personally don’t say anything instead I visualize removing old stagnant energy and “see” it leaving the house through the open windows and doors for me, it’s usually dark in color/stale-looking energy. Walk around slowly to all parts of your house carrying your bowl or shell to catch the falling ash and really connect within the moment, enjoy the process of cleansing your house and even yourself. I also like to wave the smudge around myself starting from my toes to my head to cleanse my aura.
Get into the corners and if it’s safe to do so under furniture, desks, and the bed(s). With doorways, I wave it around the door frame as we can bring home all kinds of energy when we enter the house and you never know what kind of energy delivery people will leave at your doorstep.
Another time I cleanse is when I’ve had a good cry, because hey, life can get overwhelming at times, I like to clear away any lingering emotional energy, and lastly, if furniture has been rearranged I like to give the area cleanse also.
Do this until all the rooms have been done throughout the house.
Afterward, your place will feel more relaxed and you will feel a sense of ease.
Once finished I usually leave the smudge stick to go out on its own, but you can also extinguish it out by stubbing out the end in your heatproof bowl or shell.
Even though I don’t have to tell you, but please ensure you are practicing fire safety when burning smudge sticks.